Why blog, why now?

I’ve thought about having a blog for a long time.

Wait. I should clarify. I’ve thought about having this blog for a long time.

I’ve had many blogs over the years. I’ve blogged with and for my students. I’ve blogged for my department. I’ve blogged about fitness, cooking, and parenting. (Yes, hitting on most of the 30/40-something female clichés there.) What I’ve not done, however, is put myself out here on the Web with my own blog, under my real name, posting about issues related to my work.

There have been many occasions on which I haven’t started this blog. Why? Oh, it’s a laundry list of reasons:

  • no time
  • not sure exactly what I would focus on
  • not sure if I would have enough content to keep it going
  • not sure if it would be worthwhile (will I benefit from writing it? will anyone read it? will it promote some useful discourse?)
  • fear of what happens when my self-published words get repeated back to me, verbatim, x years from now (a cringeworthy thought)

And yet I kept coming back to the idea. Clearly it’s something I want to do.

I know I could find the time. I know I have the content. How? Oh, because I am always talking with people about ideas. And talking about ideas has been beneficial to me as a scholar for two reasons: I work through my own ideas in the conversation, and I get new perspectives from my conversation partners. A blog is just a change of venue. I can work through my ideas in writing here, and I might access some new conversation partners.

And now the time seems right. I’m on sabbatical this term (a good time to get started with a blog, I think). I just finished teaching a summer course on social media, which got me back in the blogging habit. Several students have encouraged me. For whatever reason, I’m not worrying (too much) right now about how cringeworthy it will be to read this blog in the future. And I’m part of the team organizing a symposium on Quality in Online Learning, which has led to all sorts of interesting conversations which, in turn, have given me a lot of ideas for blogging.

I imagine this space will feature a variety of content: thoughts related to learning in online settings; advice I’m giving my students (so much easier to type it out and point here than repeat it each term); thoughts on sabbatical; ideas for teaching with online tools; and highlights from some of my work.

And so it begins …

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